U-Men: U-Men [Album Review]

U-Men U-Men Sub Pop Records [2017] Who: From 1983 to 1987, the U-Men were the hype of the Seattle Underground. The band recorded a handful of singles and one full length album in 1988. This new collection features the U-Men’s entire studio-recorded output plus 5 unreleased songs. Sound: You might expect the early days of … Read more

The Replacements: For Sale – Live At Maxwell’s 1986 [Album Review]

The Replacements For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986 Sire/Rhino [2017] Fire Note Says: Minneapolis’ 80’s punk heroes captured live in all their raw, ragged glory. Album Review: Gather round my children, and I’ll tell you a story about a far distant time called the 80’s when punk bands weren’t mere fashion statements marketed by corporations, … Read more

Various Artists: Singles (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Deluxe Edition) [Album Review]

Various Artists Singles (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Deluxe Edition) Sony/Legacy Recordings [2017] Fire Note Says: The soundtrack that captured a change – This is the story of grunge. Album Review: There are not many records that capture an era like the Singles Soundtrack. Grunge stormed the scene in 1991 with the explosion of Nirvana, Pearl … Read more

Circus Devils: Laughs Best (The Kids Eat It Up) [Album Review]

Circus Devils Laughs Best (The Kids Eat It Up): Best Of Circus Devils Happy Jack Rock Records [2017] Fire Note Says: Circus Devils are sent off in fine fashion with this career-spanning double-LP compilation Album Review: Circus Devils has never been for the casual Robert Pollard fan. The “band,” comprising Pollard and brothers Todd and … Read more

The Brotherhood Of Lizards: Lizardland – The Complete Works [Album Review]

The Brotherhood Of Lizards Lizardland: The Complete Works Captured Tracks [2016] Fire Note Says: Captured Tracks unearths another gem from Martin Newell of Cleaners from Venus. Album Review: I have to confess, I had no idea that The Brotherhood of Lizards was even a band, let alone a short-lived project featuring Martin Newell of Cleaners … Read more

Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker (Deluxe Edition) [Album Review]

Ryan Adams Heartbreaker (Deluxe Edition) PAX-AM Records [2016] Fire Note Says: Breakup masterpiece get’s the deluxe treatment that enhances rather than detracts. Album Review: It’s early 2000, you are Ryan Adams and your band Whiskeytown is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. You are 27 years old, and you’ve got your whole career ahead of … Read more

Bruce Springsteen: The Ties That Bind – The River Collection [Album Review]

Bruce Springsteen The Ties That Bind: The River Collection Columbia Records [2015] Fire Note Says: Springsteen revisits The River in this majestic box set. Album Review: In 1980, Bruce Springsteen released the only double album of his career, “The River.” While the New Jersey-based singer/songwriter had already been on the covers of Time and Newsweek … Read more

Chris Cornell: Euphoria Mourning [Album Review]

Chris Cornell Euphoria Mourning Universal Music Enterprises [2015] Fire Note Says: Title change, remaster and vinyl edition is all new on this reissue. Album Review: Sometimes you get an opportunity to revisit a record that you had completely forgot about. Soundgarden’s frontman Chris Cornell’s first solo album is one of those albums. First released in … Read more

Haynes Boys: Haynes Boys [Album Review]

Haynes Boys Haynes Boys Slab / Re-Vinyl Records [2015] Fire Note Says: Haynes Boys debut should be in your collection. Album Review: How about I introduce you to one of the best roots rock records you never took for a spin? An alt-country / Americana staple before the genre was really defined. That would be … Read more

The Apartments: The Evening Visits…And Stays For Years [Album Review]

The Apartments The Evening Visits…and Stays For Years Captured Tracks [2015] Fire Note Says: An often overlooked 80’s classic is given the deluxe reissue treatment. Album Review: The Evening Visits…and Stays for Years is a dark and brooding indie pop album from the 80’s, led by a former (brief) member of The Go-Betweens. Peter Milton … Read more

Red Aunts: Come Up For A Closer Look [Album Review]

Red Aunts Come Up For A Closer Look In The Red Recordings [2014] Fire Note Says: Get to know the Red Aunts! Album Review: For most, this new compilation release from the Red Aunts will be an introductory point and that is just fine. The all-female punk band from Long Beach, California ruled the underground … Read more

Pissed Jeans: Shallow [Album Review]

Pissed Jeans Shallow Sub Pop Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Shallow shows where the wallow rock all started. Album Review: Sub Pop Records has had two important reissues this year with the releases of the Sleater Kinney box set Start Together and the pre-Shins band Flake Music’s When You Land Here, It’s Time To Return. … Read more

The Cleaners From Venus: Volume 3 (Box Set) [Album Review]

The Cleaners From Venus Volume 3 (Box Set) Captured Tracks [2014] Fire Note Says: The third box set from The Cleaners From Venus is far and away the best one yet, and absolutely essential listening. Album Review: Captured Tracks has now released their third box set from The Cleaners From Venus, the legendary lo-fi 80s … Read more

Heavens To Betsy: Calculated [Album Review]

Heavens To Betsy Calculated Kill Rock Stars [2014] Fire Note Says: Heavens To Betsy‘s anger couldn‘t be more captivating on Calculated. Album Review: When people hear the name Corin Tucker they should get excited—if they don’t, shame on them. A prominent figure in music from the 90’s through today, Corin Tucker has made her waves … Read more

The Moles: Flashbacks And Dream Sequences – The Story Of The Moles [Album Review]

The Moles Flashbacks And Dream Sequences: The Story of The Moles Fire Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Amazing career retrospective from one of the great “lost” bands of the 90’s. Album Review: Are The Moles one of the great lost bands of the 90’s? Fire Records makes a strong argument for this with the release … Read more

Tony Molina: Dissed And Dismissed [Album Review]

Tony Molina Dissed And Dismissed Melters/Slumberland Records [2013/2014] Fire Note Says: Tony Molina only needs 12 minutes to win you over! Album Review: Veteran Bay Area musician Tony Molina released a limited run record last year that I guarantee not enough people heard. His twelve minute album, Dissed And Dismissed, came out on the small … Read more

Motel Beds: These Are The Days Gone By [Album Review]

Motel Beds These Are The Days Gone By Misra Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Motel Beds release a compilation that you need to hear! Album Review: Dayton, Ohio has been in the indie music news lately with the Breeders touring and Guided By Voices consistently releasing new records but what about peeling the Gem City … Read more

The Verlaines: Hallelujah All The Way Home/Juvenillia [Album Review]

The Verlaines Hallelujah All The Way Home/Juvenilia Captured Tracks/Flying Nun[1985,1987/2013] Fire Note Says: Captured Tracks continues reissuing essential albums from the Flying Nun catalog. Album Review: Anyone who reads The Fire Note with any regularity knows of our unabashed love for that particular brand of Kiwi-pop so perfectly commemorated by legendary New Zealand label Flying … Read more

15-60-75 (The Numbers Band): Jimmy Bell’s Still In Town [Album Review]

15-60-75 (The Numbers Band) Jimmy Bell’s Still In Town Exit Stencil Recordings [2013] Fire Note Says: Unsung Ohio heroes score huge with reissue of Jimmy Bell‘s Still In Town. Album Review: “We’re not interested in making hits,” said 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band) main man Robert Kidney, “we’re interested in making history.” It only get better … Read more

Yes: The Studio Albums 1969-1987 Box Set [Album Review]

Yes The Studio Albums 1969-1987 Atlantic Records [2013] Fire Note Says: A box set from progressive rock kings Yes – just in time for Christmas! Album Review: There is absolutely no need for this box set’s existence and yet I am overjoyed that it’s here. The only thing that’s new here is a re-mastered version … Read more

Epicycle: You’re Not Gonna Get It [Album Review]

Epicycle You’re Not Gonna Get It HoZac Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Chicago area powerpop/punk band get the anthology treatment. Album Review: File under: could have been big. Or three years of bratty suburban mayhem distilled into one really cool record. During their original incarnation Epicycle put out one LP and a handful of 7″ … Read more

Soundgarden: Screaming Life / Fopp [Album Review]

Soundgarden Screaming Life/Fopp Sub Pop Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Soundgarden are one of the most important bands to emerge from early 90’s Seattle. Album Review: I caught the Soundgarden bug during my freshman year at college when a friend bought Louder Than Love and proclaimed it the best rock album of the year. I … Read more

The Bottle Rockets: Bottle Rockets / The Brooklyn Side (Deluxe Edition) [Album Review]

The Bottle Rockets Bottle Rockets / The Brooklyn Side (Deluxe Edition) Bloodshot Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Two influential Americana records that you should have in your collection. Album Review: While Americana fans are looking forward to the re-issue of the mother ship album that launched a movement and named a fanzine, Uncle Tupelo’s No … Read more